It’s good news for everyone including Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Elon Musk, and others who were caught up in the biggest security and privacy breach in Twitter’s history in July. The tweets offered to send $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to an anonymous Bitcoin address.
As a cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is difficult to track and recover if stolen in a scam. Thankfully, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice were able to bring the hackers into custody in a matter of weeks, after conducting a nationwide investigation.
In the early hours of Friday morning, the FBI, IRS, US Secret Service, and Florida law enforcement placed a 17-year-old, Graham Ivan Clark in Tampa, Florida, under arrest, but apparently, he wasn’t alone. Two other persons, Nima Fazeli, 22, in Orlando and Mason Sheppard, 19, in the UK, were charged by the US Department of Justice.
They go by the hacker aliases “Rolex” and “Chaewon” respectively, according to the DOJ.
The investigation revealed that Clark was the mastermind of the hack. His scheme was to defraud, steal the identities of prominent people, post messages in their names, directing victims to send Bitcoin to accounts associated with Clark, and in the process, he reaped more than $100,000 in Bitcoin in just one day, according to the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office.
According to a statement from United States Attorney, David Anderson:
There is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks like the Twitter hack can be perpetrated anonymously and without consequence. Today’s charging announcement demonstrates that the elation of nefarious hacking into a secure environment for fun or profit will be short-lived.
“Today’s arrests represent just the first step for law enforcement,” said FBI San Francisco Assistant Special Agent in Charge Sanjay Virmani. “Our investigation will continue to identify anyone else who may have been involved in these crimes.”
Twitter also released a statement on appreciating “the swift actions of law enforcement in this investigation and will continue to cooperate as the case progresses.”